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Kyle Estrada hoping a win at LFA 85 leads to a UFC opportunity

It’s been an understandably frustrating first half of 2020 for bantamweight Kyle Estrada.

After having a fight fall through at the start of the year due to his opponent pulling out, Estrada’s career was further put on hold due to the novel coronavirus, which caused the cancellation of his scheduled LFA 84 fight in March.

“It kind of sucked because when you lose (like I did in my last fight of 2019) you want to jump in as fast as possible and correct the mistakes you made,” Estrada told MMAWeekly.com. “January didn’t happen. March was supposed to happen and then coronavirus hit and it got cancelled.

“Everything was up in the air. No one knew what was happening. I just tried to stay training as much as I possibly could. Nothing was open, so I couldn’t get in a gym, so I did a lot of training with one of my friends.”

Unable to train with a full team setup, Estrada hooked up with one of his teammates and made the most of what he had available to him during lockdown to improve his game.

“I know I’ve gotten a lot better,” said Estrada. “Obviously I’m not going to actual practice and work on what my coach wants me to work. I got to work a lot of things with one of my teammates/friends Chris Popovic.

“We just went over a lot of stuff; footwork things; and made some adjustments that I needed on things I know I mess up on during the fight. I got a lot of good positive things fight-wise.”


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This Friday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Estrada (10-5) will finally have his first bout of 2020 when he faces Kevin Natividad (8-1) in the 135-pound co-main event of LFA 85.

“I like the match-up,” Estrada said. “(Natividad is) good all around. I’ve just got to show up and do my thing like I always do. I just have to show up mentally, and I’m going to do that 100 percent.”

For Estrada, the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic has him focusing on making sure he’s as ready as he can be for any opportunity that comes up, especially if it’s a move to the next level of his career.

“I’ve just got to keep training, really, because you never know what’s going to happen with the coronavirus stuff and what’s going to get shut down,” said Estrada. “Especially where I live, in Los Angeles, we get shut down for everything.

“I wanted to get (into the UFC) by August because I turn 30 on August 13, but we’ll see what happens.”


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This article first appeared at News – MMAWeekly.com


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